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Aug 2nd, 2015 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Settle on Your Priorities

In my talk on entrepreneurship (“The Startup Doctrine”) I have a section which digs into making the main thing the main thing.

John MacFarlane, the founder of Sonos, described this as “the advice […] is among the best I’d give anybody.”

Figure out what your (product) priorities are. Settle on them. And then stick to them.

When Sonos launched, the team had three priorities: Quality, time to market and cost. The Sonos crew decided that quality is their number one priority — which led them to postpone their launch until they got the product just right.

Take someone like Apple as a counter-example: Apple has a specific cadence for their iOS products; they want to release a new iPhone every Fall. They value time to market over cost and features. And so they focus on getting their new iPhones into customers’ hands in the Fall over holding the launch back to either make the phone cheaper or add one more feature.

Figure out what your priorities are, rank them, get everyone on the same page and act accordingly. When you hit some snafus (and you inevitably will) — you now have a framework which will allow you and your team to make the right decision. And as you have a framework your decision won’t look arbitrary. Plus your priorities will ultimately filter through your values and guide your companies’ behavior.

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